Better Place is attempting to recruit the support and cooperation of Italian carmaker Fiat-Chrysler as it strives to set up an electric car infrastructure. Sources inform "Globes" that senior figures in Better Place, including chairman Idan Ofer, met with Lapo Elkann, grandson and one of the heirs of the late Gianni Agnelli, the principal shareholder of Fiat.
New York-born Elkann is a former marketing manager of Fiat and his brother John serves as deputy chairman of the automaker. Elkann, whose father is Jewish, is considered close to Israel and a strong supporter of Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer.
Fiat could be an important ally for Better Place both in Europe and in the US after the Italian automaker's recent deal t acquire control of Chrysler. Chrysler is in the advanced stages of developing an electric car and in recent years has presented several electric car prototypes. Better Place sees the US as a key market for the future and an agreement with Fiat and Chrysler could open doors into the American market. Chrysler has a well developed market network in North America.
As far as is known Ofer's meeting with Elkann did not yield concrete results. Better Place declined to comment on the report saying that it does not discuss details about its business operations.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 14, 2009
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2009